11 Ways to Gain Exposure as a Web Designer
As a web designer you may be faced with the challenge of getting your work and your abilities in front of others. If this is the case, here is a list of 11 different things you can do to get noticed.
1. Submit Your Designs to CSS Galleries
CSS galleries display high-quality designs, and you can submit yours to be considered for inclusion. The leading CSS Galleries (CSS Beauty, CSS Vault, CSS Drive, etc.) have huge audiences that will see your work if it is included. Additionally, there are a number of specialty galleries, such as Light on Dark, eduStyle, No Resolution, and The Horizontal Way.
2. Start a Blog
As a designer, maintaining a blog can be a great way to increase you exposure. Blog posts will give you an opportunity to share your knowledge with readers, build repeat traffic to your website, increase search engine traffic, and you can even use your blog to promote your services and display your recent projects. Writing articles and maintaining the blog will take some time, but I think you will find that the additional exposure that it brings will be well worth the time.
3. Give Away Free Templates or Blog Themes
By creating templates or blog themes you can display your quality of work and provide something free at the same time. Of course, your goal as a designer most likely involves earning an income, so you may feel that giving away your designs would be a bad decision. On the contrary, the free templates and themes can link back to your own website, which will increase your exposure with click-through traffic and improved search engine rankings. Additionally, others will link to you and refer friends to your work if the quality is high. In most cases you will only want to give away a part of your work, and then you can sell other templates, themes, or custom design services. Many designers who give away free themes also make money by offering to customize the theme for clients.
4. Give a Free Design to a High-Profile Client
If you don’t mind doing some work for free in order to really increase you earning potential in the future, contact someone who is high profile and has a significant influence. If you design a website or blog theme for a well-known or highly-trafficked website, it can be an incredible source of exposure for your work. The one free job may lead to 5 or 10 jobs at full price.
5. Run a Contest for a Free Design
Another option for gaining exposure through a free design is to run a contest. You could run the contest from your own website or blog, or you could sponsor a contest from a higher-profile blog. This is very common with premium WordPress themes right now. The contest will hopefully create a lot of interest and draw new visitors to your website.
6. Set Up Profiles on Freelance Websites
Freelance websites such as Elance, Guru, and Sologig (and there are many more) will allow you to set up a profile as a service provider and bid on jobs that others have posted. People looking for services will also be able to find your profile and contact you about designing for them.
7. Start a Community Site for Web Designers
There are a number of different types of community sites for web designers, such as forums, online magazines, multi-authored blogs, etc. By starting and promoting a community-based website you can gain exposure to other designers and visitors of those sites.
8. Write Tutorials
Writing tutorials is an excellent way to show your knowledge, help others, and gain some exposure at the same time. There are countless sites to which you could submit tutorials, or you could start your own tutorial website. Those who are reading the tutorials will see you as an expert on the subject if you are able to help them learn something new.
9. Design and Give Away Free Icons
There’s no shortage of free icons online , but designers are always interested in more. If you’re good at designing icons this can be a great method for drawing inbound links and getting others to your website.
10. Give Away Free CSS Navigation Menus
CSS navigation menus are a part of almost every website, so there is always a need and a demand for easy solutions. Creating some navigation menus and providing the code to visitors is one of the easier ways to provide the design community with something of value and to increase exposure.
11. Write Articles for Other Websites and Blogs
While maintaining your own blog is one option, writing for others will also help you to reach a larger and more diverse audience. There are plenty of websites and blogs that accept article submissions, including high-profile sites like SitePoint and A List Apart.
What methods do you use to gain exposure?
Published February 6th, 2008 by Steven Snell